Last week we got a chance to listen to one of these groups outside the usual circumstances. It wasn’t a research project, and it wasn’t by sitting behind a two-way mirror. This group of 12 industry outsiders likely hadn’t engaged in debates about long-tail sales theories, the effectiveness of DRM schemes, or consumption patterns of digital media when marginal costs approach zero. Which isn’t to say they were disengaged – most of them had mp3 players, and at least some knew what peer-to-peer software was. But overall, they were probably a good cross section of ‘real world’ music listeners.
We’re speaking, of course, of the 12-person jury in Minneapolis who rendered a decision in the case involving Ms. Jammie Thomas-Rasset (http://www.riaa.com/newsitem.php?id=67AC2E75-E62A-1823-9604-FD0F15EF0F63). This group of 12 Minnesotans showed us that, despite the protestations of some pundits who suggest that the digital world should resemble some kind of new wild west, the majority understands and believes that the same laws and rules we follow every day apply online. Not just in theory, but in practice. Another group of 12 people presented with similar questions said the same thing two years ago (http://news.cnet.com/Rights-and-wrongs-in-the-antipiracy-struggle/2010-1027_3-6213649.html?tag=mncol). That makes a sample size of only 24, but it’s certainly enough to learn from.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
RIAA blog: Thomas-Rasset jury like a focus group of 'real world music listeners'
The RIAA's "Music Notes" blog has weighed in with a bit more reaction to last week's $1.92 million verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, likening the jurors (and those from the 2007 first trial) to a focus group of "'real world music listeners":